Email Marketers Releasing Afternoon Promotions to Boost Conversions

Yesterday, I highlighted studies that showed the importance of good content in boosting email subscriptions for marketers. The success of an email campaign depends on more than content, though. Retention Science just PClooked at 100 million transactions carried out by 20 million users to determine the kinds of promotions retailers should offer and when they should click the send button. While some researchers insist there’s a magic hour of email, Retention Science has found afternoon is the best time to release these promotions.

Consumers are converting in response to email promotions during the following times of the day:

  • Morning 28.5%
  • Afternoon 38%
  • Evening 27%
  • Late night 6.5%

Researchers believe most people are too busy in the morning to do much buying and are too tired to shop late at night. Therefore, 65% of conversions are taking place either in the afternoon or early evening.

Shoppers have long exhibited distinct purchasing patterns based on the day of the week, as well. Email conversions spike on Tuesdays and Fridays according to the Retention Science data:

  •  Monday 8%
  • Tuesday 28%
  • Wednesday 12%
  • Thursday 17%
  • Friday 26%
  • Saturday 3%
  • Sunday 6%

The firm’s analysts cited the case of one retail partner that shifted its email campaign and began releasing on Tuesday evenings. As a result, revenues jumped 300%.

The research also points to the importance of offering free shipping. Marketers that promote free shipping in email can generate a 0.22% to 1.9% conversion rate. This is a better outcome than most percent-​off discounts which yield a 0.1% to 0.8% conversion rate.

Retailers should also be prepared to experience their highest conversion rates on day 1 (23%) and day 3 (11%) following an email release. By day 10, conversions drop to 4% and fall from there. Note that this study applied to both online and traditional retailers.

If you're working with clients on email campaigns, share these results with them. If you've been doing email advertising, do your results mirror those released by Retention Science?

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.